Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (2): 327-339.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003322

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The Gap between the Well-Being of Urban and Rural Residents in the Yangtze River Economic Belt

Yanhua Hea,b(), Cong Liua, Guohua Zhoua,b(), Yan Chena   

  1. a.College of Geographic Science, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
    b.Hunan Key Laboratory of Geospatial Big Data Mining and Application, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China
  • Received:2020-11-01 Revised:2020-12-29 Online:2021-04-27 Published:2021-04-27
  • Contact: Guohua Zhou E-mail:zlgx888@163.com;uuy828@163.com

Abstract:

The integrated development of urban and rural areas has become an important development strategy in China in the new era. Its ultimate goal is to jointly improve the well-being of urban and rural residents and reduce the gap in well-being that exists between them. Drawing from the 2019 Human Development Index evaluation framework from a comprehensive subjective and objective perspective, this study constructed an objective development index, a subjective well-being index, and a well-being difference coefficient between urban and rural residents. Taking the Yangtze River Economic Belt as the research area, this study explored the dynamic development process and spatial differentiation characteristics of urban and rural residents' well-being and revealed the influencing factors and mechanisms behind them. It is expected to help understand the process of urban–rural integrated development from the perspective of well-being as well as provide guidance for promoting the integrated development of urban and rural areas in the Yangtze River Economic Belt. The main conclusions reached were as follows: 1) The well-being of urban and rural residents in the Yangtze River Economic Belt gradually increased, from 0.665 3 and 0.570 4 in 2005 to 0.761 5 and 0.683 0, respectively, in 2015. The upper, middle, and lower reaches of this region showed a gradient change from low to high, while the overall spatial difference decreased. 2) The well-being level of urban residents was slightly higher than that of rural residents, and the gap gradually narrowed from 1.166 3 in 2005 to 1.114 8 in 2015. The well-being gap of urban and rural residents in the upper, middle, and lower reaches showed a high to low gradient change; Among them, the gap in the lower reaches has narrowed relatively greatly. 3) The well-being levels of urban and rural residents and the gap between them were greatly affected by economic factors, and the pulling effect of economic growth on the well-being of rural residents was more obvious than that of urban residents, while the spatial distribution of urban and rural residents' well-being was generally positively correlated with the economic pattern. At the same time, it was found that the level of well-being was also related to factors such as urban and rural infrastructure, cultural construction, social management, basic housing security, and ecological environment. Therefore, the well-being level of regions with high economic levels was not necessarily high. 4) The gap in economic, social public services, and security levels between urban and rural areas, as well as the gap in income, health, and social status of urban and rural residents, are the main reasons why this gap between the two types of residents has always existed. The implementation of China's new socialist countryside and beautiful countryside construction, targeted poverty alleviation strategies, urban-rural integration development strategies, and a series of "supporting farmers" and "benefits" policies have effectively promoted the improvement of the well-being of rural residents and narrowed the gap between that of their urban counterparts.

Key words: well-being of urban and rural residents, well-being gap, human development index, the Yangtze River Economic Belt

CLC Number: 

  • F124.7